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“Belair Beach Hotel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Belair Beach Hotel

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Belair Beach Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Little Bay Beach | P.O. Box 940, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Philipsburg
Renton, Washington
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Belair Beach Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We had a 2 bedroom/2bath room at the Belair Beach Hotel April 20 - 27, 2013. The hotel check in was very quick & easy. The furniture is a bit outdated, but we expected that and it was fine with us. We were in Room 317 and had a gorgeous view of the ocean and were able to watch the cruise ships come in and out of port daily. We could actually see the island of Saba directly across from us. The only thing I could say that would have made this hotel a 4 or 5 star would be to get more comfortable beds. The master had a king size bed and the 2nd bedroom had a double, both were extremely uncomfortable. The furnishings are outdated, but I understand they are updating a little at a time. The café had good food and drinks. The store was very convenient (a bit expensive though). Overall, the four of us (2 couples) had a wonderful time at the Belair. I will say that out of all the beaches we visited, Little Bay was the best!

Room Tip: All of the rooms face the ocean, so it just depends if you want a room with a better view or you wan...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
You had many good things to say about the hotel. The only negative was the beds which is each persons individual taste. The mattresses are only 3 years old. Yet you gave us a 3? The furniture is caribbean style in bamboo and easy, just like the resort. Sorry you didn't say something to us when you were here about the bed. We might have been able to assist you. We certainly try to make everyone's experience a happy one.
We do hope that you will give us a try again.
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287 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013 via mobile

The Belair allows you to enjoy St Maarten the way it use to be.
The only thing you overlook is the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Awake to the waves, watch as ships parade pass your terrace on the way to the harbor. The staff is friendly and really mean it when they say good morning. Your beach chair and umbrella awaits your arrival. If you are looking for all the luxury of home, the noise, the entertainment and the crowds, the Belair is not for you.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
You really have Belair Beach Hotel down pat! We are exactly as you stated. We are totalling Caribbean, decor, staff, etc. and we care about our guests. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit.
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Concord, Virginia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

This hotel is not for everyone, especially if you want high end appointments but if you want a good, clean room with lots of hot water, TV, kitchenette and a good size living area with a beautiful view, Belair Beach Hotel is just what you want!

My husband and I fell in love with BBH on our first trip to St. Martin. We have since made friends with Kevin and Zekkie the car rental guys, Carlton the security office and Paulina at the Front Desk as well as many others. We travel to the island every two years in November and enjoy the special attention we are always given at the hotel and for that matter on the entire island. I have never encountered any of the employees of the hotel to be rude or non-attentive.

We will be going again this year and we are already looking forward to visiting with our friends/family at the hotel. If you can't get along with these people then the problem might just be you instead of the hotel!

Room Tip: 2nd 3rd and 4th floors in the center has the best panoramic views
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
We are always hapy to see old faces back and we do get a lot of them. Our staff, the majority being here over 10 years seems to remember everyone's name and welcomes you to your home away from home. We go that extra mile when someone needs something.
We look forward to seeing you in November.
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We would definitely come again. The best thing about this resort is the beach. It is beautiful, clear turquoise water, and soft sand. The water is gentle enough for swimming, but you can also body surf or boogie board (rent for $5/day or $25/week at the towel hut). When you arrive, go out to the towel hut and reserve your beach chairs for the week. You can sleep in and still get the same chairs everyday! We drove around the entire island, stopped in Great Bay and Phillipsburg, Oyster Bay, Orient Bay, Marigot, Simpson Bay, and Maho Bay. We liked Little Bay the best. It is quiet, beautiful and not at all crowded. If you are looking for a party scene, this isn't the place. We prefer enjoying a beach without stepping over people to get to it, and Little Bay was absolutely perfect for us. The pool at the resort is very small. We never even used it as the beach was so incredible.

The building itself isn't amazing. Everything was very clean. We had daily maid service and they cleaned everything very well, even washed our dishes. It is dated however. If you are looking for a plush resort experience (like the newer timeshares that we have stayed in while in Mexico), this is not it. I would say the decor looks like it is from the 90's. You should just know this, as we did, before you book. If not, it might be a shock. I am very bothered when things aren't clean, and I felt very comfortable there. I do think they could greatly improve the first impression people get by simply painting the lobby area and getting some new pictures to hang behind the desk.

The kitchen is small, but worked perfectly for us. It has a full size fridge, 2 burners, and a toaster oven. It was sufficiently stocked for us. We cooked two meals a day and ate out one. The living area and kitchen have huge windows (basically a wall of windows) that overlook the ocean-Amazing view!!! The living area has two couches and a decent sized flatscreen with maybe 20 channels, all in English. There are two bedrooms, but one is very small. I think maybe the smaller one has just a full size bed in it, and it pushed against the wall to have enough room to walk around it. The larger of the two rooms has a king size bed. Both rooms have bathrooms (bath tub with shower in the larger room and shower in the smaller one). We never had a problem with hot water. Only the larger room has a TV in it, although it is maybe 10 or 12 inches. We never used ours, so if watching TV in your room to relax is important to you, you might get stressed just squinting to see it. The AC worked great. The balcony is the best part of the suite. It is large with a lounge chair, a small table and chairs. Each and every room overlooks Little Bay. The view is worth the stay.

We found the customer service at the resort to be great. I think that some of the complaints from other reviewers may come from differences in culture. We noticed that the people on St Maarten aren't as time oriented as Americans are. For example, when going out to eat, we almost always had to ask for our bill (and we weren't in a hurry). Time just moves slower there. We had requested a fourth floor suite for the higher view and less foot traffic, we got a fourth floor room. There was a question about our bill and they quickly resolved it when we asked about it. It was no problem to get a later check out. Housekeeping was very friendly and accommodating. There was one major deluge that showed there was a leak in the ceiling in our living area. The front desk immediately sent maintenance up to address the issue.

We didn't go to the Gingerbread Cafe. We heard mixed reviews from other guests. We just wanted to explore more of the island. We did go to Divi's (the other resort on Little Bay) outdoor grill and enjoyed it. One thing that we learned while trying different restaurants... don't buy mixed drinks while out and about in St Maarten's! I am an incredible lightweight. One beer makes me tipsy. I couldn't even taste the alcohol in the cocktails. Basically spent $8 on juice. Other guests commented on the exact same thing.

Food and dining out is very expensive in St Maarten. We got 2 crepes and 2 sodas and it was $20 plus tip. Dinner for a couple burgers runs about $40. We went to the Grand Marche and bought groceries. It is about a 7 minute drive from Belair. It has a good selection of foods that we were familiar with, and even had some of the specialty foods (like Boursin cheeses or Earth Balance butter) that we recognized from home. All of the food there is expensive as everything needs to be shipped in to St Maarten's, but it is much cheaper than eating out. We also brought some food with us from the States and customs gave us no trouble with that. We brought some tuna, granola bars, tortillas, PB, honey, etc. We also brought True Lemon water flavoring packets for the water. We did drink tap water and were totally fine. It was just okay tasting, so we often added the True Lemon to it.

We rented a car from Starlite Rental for 3 days and it was a great experience. They are located on site at Belair. Kevin picked us up from the airport. Since we were only renting the car for three days, Kevin offered to take us back the following Saturday with him as he went to go pick up more customers. It was seamless service. Nivi (?), the lady at the Starlite desk, was also very helpful and accommodating. She gave several recommendations on where to eat around St Maarten, all of them that we tried were excellent. Starlite is a bit more expensive than some of the other car rental companies (I compared for the dates and car make on Kayak before reserving with Starlite), but the convenience of having the rental company on site was a big deal for me.

Some people have said that you need to rent a car. I think it really depends on what you want to do. We were glad that we rented it for the three days. We got to drive around the entire island, go out to eat at more distant locations, go experience a plane flying in at Maho, but we were also glad just to lay on the beach and read. If you feel the need to explore daily, then definitely rent a car. It'll be cheaper than taxis.

Phillipsburg is a short walk away. We walked back and forth from the Belair in the heat of the day and it took us 20 minutes at a leisurely pace to get to the closest part of Front Street. There is a little hill that you need to climb. It was fine for us, but we are in our early 30's and in decent shape. I wouldn't recommend walking this at night just for the reason that you are on a narrow sidewalk on a busy road for maybe 5 minutes of the walk. Drive or get a taxi if you want to go into Phillipsburg at night.

We loved it at the Belair and hope to go back. The employees were very helpful. The guests were so friendly and kind. By the end of the week, people knew each other by name. We felt very safe with the 24 hour security. If you are looking for luxury, casinos, hopping night life, this isn't the place for you. If you want a gorgeous and quiet beach, this place is perfect.

Room Tip: The fourth floor has the best views in my opinion, but all of the rooms are beach front and you just...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
We are always glad to hear that you enjoyed your vacation with us. Our staff tries hard to please nad they really care. As you said "if you want to be on the beach, you can't get closer to it than the Belair". We are not for everyone but no place is.

Sorry you didn't try the Gingerbread Cafe. It really is great place to have any meal overlooking the beach. The staff is helpful and the food very good.

Hope to see you back soon.
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alto mi
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We just got back last week from this resort. First impression does make you question this resort. All of the people at the resort were very friendy. Loved the ginger bread restaurant for breakfast. The pool is really small. We were on the 3rd floor. all rooms have a great view of the ocean. This was the first time I stayed at a resort that reserved our beach chairs. What a HUGE relief that was not having to worry about having chairs and shade. All resorts need to take lessons from the Belair for this beautiful perk.You have to rent a car on this island. Driving was no problem. Every meal we had in town was wonderful. The bakerys were great, but the frech workers are snobs. It was great watching the cruise ships come in the morning and leave with all of there lights on. I would recomend this resort to anyone that wants a very relaxing week. Like you read before it is not a luxury resort, but you will leave glad you stayed there. Rented a car from Kenny was great and a nice price also.I would recomend him.You have to go to the airport bar and watch people get thrown into the ocean by airplane prop wash.I would stay again,

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Glad to hear that you had a wonderful vacation. That's what it is all about. Everyone likes something different but for relaxation and beach, the Belair is the one! We look forward to seeing you again.
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

The title says most of how I feel about the Belair, but not everything. Just got back from our third visit to St. Maarten and this was the second time that we stayed at the Belair. As most every reviewer stated it's not a luxury hotel, amenities some may desire are limited and it's generally a somewhat older crowd with a smattering of families with children. But for us it's fine; great, mellow beach, w/ reserved chairs; convenient to food shopping and restaurants; easy/honest car rental; hotel staff were friendly and accommodating.....internet gave us a problem, it was easily resolved; room location we asked for....no problem, we were on the top floor as requested; cable remote not working...again, no problem, quickly corrected. Hot water was plentiful, a/c was cool. If I were to make one suggestion it would be a slight improvement in the housekeeping; while basically the room was clean it's the less obvious things; the air vents were really dirty, the fridge handle needed a good scrubbing, light switch in bathroom was dirty....little things that are easily corrected. If we go to St. Maarten again it will be to the Belair and I guess that says everything about a place; would you go back? The bigger question is to go back to St. Maarten....it seems to get more congested every time we return. Thank you Belair for a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We are glad that you enjoyed your stay in St. Maarten. And thank you for pointing out the problems wtih housekeeping. We do not stay in the apartments and we need feed back from our guests and owners so that we can improve! I have forwarded a copy of this to our housekeeping department and hopefully these "little things" that aren't so little will be corrected the next time you are here.
As for the traffic, hopefully when the new bridge is finished early next year a lot of the problems will be alleviated.
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

First I must say the beach itself is marvelous. Please read carefully and take into consideration before travelling so that you can be prepared. We travelled in Summer of 2011.
Once our flight landed we were told ours, along with about 10 others luggage had not arrived on our plane. This meant that we were headed into Caribbean weather in our Oregon clothes. We were pretty disappointed but kept the positive attitude, we were in the Caribbean after all.
On arrival to the hotel, in the morning, the front desk attendant rarely looked at us. She talked so low we struggled to understand her. We let her know that our luggage did not make it and the airport would be calling. She seemed very disinterested. I checked back a couple times before we turned in for the night and she asked me not to call her again about it.
By the next afternoon and no call I requested that she connect me to the airport because we could not make direct calls from the room. She refused and stated our luggage wouldn't be coming in on a Sunday and that the airport was closed. We were immediately alarmed because we saw planes coming and going, as well at her refusal connect us.
We decided to drive back to airport. We asked for security and sure enough our luggage was sitting there. Along with all the other people. Sitting in a back room I might add. What we found out is that there is a scam on the island where they keep a certain number of bags from different resorts and then after a couple of days will offer to return for a fee. We did report this to the airlines once home but guess that this type of thing still goes on. So pack light and keep everything in a carry on.
Secondly the hotel restaurant, The Gingerbread cafe was also very flippant with us. When we asked for water the waitress told us we could get water out of the bathroom if we were thirsty. I would not suggest eating there as the food was marginal as well.
We are low maintenance when we travel and can get along with just about anybody so it was quite disheartening.
Rooms were large, dated and mostly clean. Housekeeping is available 2-3x in a 7day week which is not quite enough being on a beach. There is security on site 24/7.

Room Tip: All the rooms face the ocean so they all have a good view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregoryevan, Manager at Belair Beach Hotel, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
I am quite surprised by your remarks. You say that this happened in 2011? Why didn't you say something at the time? I have lived here for over 30 years and have never heard of any scam as you state. Luggage does get lost every where in the world. Unfortunately it happens here as well. I don't know who at the Front Desk would have told you the things you say. I would really like to know their name if you know it. Our staff is known for being helpful. We try very hard but sometimes there are circumstances that happen. We do hope that you will come back to St. Maarten again. If you didn't like our resort, please try another one. Everyone likes something different. I always say "St. Maarten has something for everyone". You just have to find it.
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Additional Information about Belair Beach Hotel

Address: Little Bay Beach | P.O. Box 940, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin
Location: Caribbean > St Maarten-St Martin > Sint Maarten > Philipsburg
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Philipsburg
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Philipsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Belair Beach Hotel 3*
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Also Known As:
Belair Beach Philipsburg
Hotel Belair Beach
Belair Beach Hotel St Maarten-St Martin/Philipsburg

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